Lo­cal favourite de­serves its fame

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - Greg Flem­ing


If you live near the cor­ner of Ariki St and Crum­mer Rd in Grey Lynn you know all about Crumb (it opened a cou­ple of years ago). You will no doubt re­sent this re­view driv­ing more peo­ple to your beloved lo­cal. Sorry about that — but this busy small, cor­ner cafe is too good to keep un­der wraps. It’s a cafe that doesn’t do a lot, but does it well. The cabi­net food — rolls, sand­wiches, sweet treats — is fresh and ap­petis­ing. The cof­fee (Supreme beans) is good and quick.

It’s a place where, yes, you can linger — there are stools at the bar by the win­dow and bean bags out­side when the sun’s out — but food and cof­fee-to-go is clearly the in­ten­tion — as is a big dose of com­mu­nity spirit.

A de­part­ing cus­tomer is wished luck for an up­com­ing in­ter­view by owner Chris, who has been pre­sid­ing over Crumb for the past 18 months. He main­tains a chatty, un­flap­pable de­meanour even in the busy morn­ing rush, which ex­tended — on the first morn­ing I vis­ited — to tak­ing out a cof­fee to a glassy-eyed man clearly high on an in­tox­i­cant much stronger than caf­feine, who seemed to be pitch­ing a script idea to a be­mused cus­tomer on the foot­path. And who said Grey Lynn was bor­ing? Be­ware — park­ing is non-ex­is­tent — the sur­round­ing streets are full of sub­ur­ban-based city work­ers’ cars. SUS­TE­NANCE & SWILL Food-wise it’s sim­ple stuff, filled pide, BLT’s, ba­con and egg baps, sand­wiches and home­made toasties. The bread’s by Il Forno, the sweet stuff is made in-house by Chris and barista Louie (try the gin­ger slice, $4.50). It’s all qual­ity in­gre­di­ents, not fussed over. Chris, it seems, is quite the per­fec­tion­ist. He rec­om­mended I try the berry smoothie ($8) — as he’d tweaked the recipe a month back — good call. The Su­per­food salad ($9.50) — served in a take­away cup — which usu­ally in­duces a yawn in me — was any­thing but bor­ing, with a nice heat thanks to the jalapenos.

If you’re brave try the Supreme es­presso milk­shake ($6.50) — made with a dou­ble shot.


Ser­vice is ex­cel­lent — so good, in fact, you won­der how other cafes get away with hav­ing lit­tle-to-none. We ar­rived late in the day — but a cus­tom-made salami pide ($8.50) was whipped up on the spot. As we sat by the win­dow and ate we watched cars dou­ble-park out­side and the driver run in for cof­fee and, of­ten, a chat. It’s that kind of place; with­out any of the in­su­lar re­serve of other Grey Lynn spots.

In­deed Crumb’s only mis­step is not be­ing open on week­ends.

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